Weapons airdropped by Pak in Rajouri seized, 3 militants nabbed

Ultras trek mountains from S Kashmir to take arms

Narco-terror module too surfaces, 5 held

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Sept 19: Police and Army today achieved a major success in the border district of Rajouri when they arrested three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) from South Kashmir who had picked up the consignment of weapons airdropped by Pakistan through drone in Gurdanbala area, just four kilometers from Rajouri town, but not far from the Line of Control (LoC).

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This is the first visible attempt in which Pakistan army has used drone to airdrop weapons on the LoC though such attempts including one successful have been made on the International Border in Hiranagar and Samba sectors.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the LeT militants operating in South Kashmir seem to be aware of date and timing of airdropping of the weapons from Pakistan side of the LoC in Gurdanbala in Rajouri district and, as per the plan, they had deputed three militants from South Kashmir to pick up the consignment and take it there.
However, the alert police personnel of Rajouri and 38 Rashtriya Rifles got specific input about movement of the militants in Gurdanbala, which is located hardly two kilometers from the Army’s Div Headquarters and carried out massive search operation under the supervision of DIG Rajouri-Poonch range Vivek Gupta, SSP Rajouri Chandan Kohli and senior Army officers.
As the security personnel zeroed-in on the militants, one of them took out a grenade from the bag and lobbed it on the searching party with a view to escape. However, the grenade didn’t explode and the security personnel managed to catch hold of the trio within no time along with the bags in which they had packed the consignment of arms and ammunition to take it to South Kashmir.
Police identified the arrested militants as Rahil Bashir alias Ayyan Bhai son of Bashir Ahmed, a resident of Tikkanpur, Pulwama, Aamir Jan alias Hamza son of Mohammad Sadeeq Yaroon R/o Lehlara Kakpura, Pulwama and Younis Wani alias Haafiz alias Zubair son of Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, a resident of Killar, Shopian.
Weaponry airdropped by the Pakistan army using drone and recovered from the possession of arrested militants include two AK-56 rifles with six magazines and 180 rounds, two Chinese pistols with three magazines and 30 rounds, four hand grenades, two pouches and Rs one lakh Indian currency.
The militants had reached Gurdanbala from South Kashmir via Mughal Road on foot and had to return through the same track. They hadn’t used the Main Mughal Road but the surrounding mountains to reach Rajouri.
Addressing a press conference in Rajouri, DGP Dilbag Singh flanked by ADGP CID Rashmi Ranjan Swain and IGP Jammu Zone Mukesh Singh besides DIG Rajouri-Poonch Vivek Gupta and SSP Rajouri Chandan Kohli described the operation as major success of police and Army.
“Pakistan and its agencies always remain active and are making every effort to disturb peace and law and order in J&K. It is using drones to drop weapons and narcotics and also push terrorists from both Rajouri and Poonch districts, which had witnessed a spurt in ceasefire violations – almost on a daily basis,” Dilbag said.
However, he said, the police, Army and other security forces are working together to scuttle Pakistan’s design and maintain peace and law and order in the Union Territory.
“We are enjoying good operational synergy and the latest arrest of three LeT militants and seizure of a huge cache of arms and ammunition was its result. We received information about movement of some suspicious people and accordingly launched the cordon and search operation,” he said.
Dilbag said the arms and ammunition had been smuggled from Pakistan to escalate violence.
“Their (the arrested militants) interrogation is underway and further details will be shared later,” he said.
In response to questions, he said Pakistan is doing its best to revive terrorism in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, which fall in Jammu division and were cleared of militancy over a decade back.
“The people of Rajouri and Poonch are peace loving and they will not allow Pakistan to succeed in its design. There are some elements with whom we will deal sternly,” the DGP said.
He termed the dropping of weapons through drones as a “big challenge” and said this is the first such aerial drop in the district though a similar attempt was foiled by the Border Security Force (BSF) along the International Border in Kathua district sometime back.
“This is a hilly terrain and drones just bypass the deployment on the LoC,” he said, adding that “we are vigilant to the threat and have taken necessary measures”.
On the recovery of a large number of US-made rifles in the recent past, the DGP said that “we have recovered such types of rifles like M-4 and M-16 in large numbers in the past as well. These rifles are duplicate weapons manufactured in Pakistan and are being smuggled by LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists”.
IGP Jammu Mukesh Singh said this was the third successful operation in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch since September 11.
Earlier, a huge consignment of arms and ammunition was recovered from two people in Balakote sector of Poonch and three days later 11 kg of heroin worth Rs 11 crore, meant to fund terrorism activities, was seized in Rajouri district.
The IGP said on September 11, police and Army arrested two people and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, including three pistols, 11 grenades, improvised explosive device (IED) material and a pen drive, frustrating terrorists plan to carry out target killings and blasts in Poonch district.
“The arrest and recovery were made from Balakote sector of Poonch. The pen drive contains details of assembling and planting the IED,” he said.
In another operation on September 14, one person was arrested with 7 kg heroin in Rajouri and later at his disclosure one more arrest was made from Kulgam district of south Kashmir.
Three residents of Poonch were also arrested and their questioning led to the recovery of 4 kg of heroin from the same spot from where the earlier consignment of 7 kg was dumped after smuggling from across the border, he said.
The IGP said the money from the heroin was meant to support terrorism
Meanwhile, Dilbag, in response to a question, said the DNA sample report of three youths killed in an alleged fake encounter in Shopian district is expected soon and subsequent action will be taken accordingly.
“The police probe and Army inquiry is moving in a parallel manner. We are working in our own way and have taken and dispatched DNA samples. The report is expected soon,” Singh said.
Responding to a question about the progress of the police probe into the Shopian incident, the DGP said further action would be taken after receiving the DNA report.
He said the Army has asserted in clear terms that appropriate action will be taken against its personnel in accordance with their culpability.